您现在的位置:首页 > 英语演讲稿>


时间:2016-08-18 17:06:17 来源:中国英语作文网

The Thinking Man's Choice

Contact is made. Nerves order the heart to pump faster. Adrenalin surges to action. Nerves constrict the blood vessels in the extremities of the body. Skin temperature drops. Fingers and toes grow colder. Blood pressure jump. An alcoholic or a dope addict in the first stages of a "cure"? A man being catapulted into outer space? No! These effects stem from smoking just one cigarette.

The United States public Health Service is issuing continual warnings to smokers. If they abstain completely from smoking, their chances of acquiring lung cancer will be one in 275. Their chances of dying of lung cancer will be one in 10 if they become heavy smokers─two or more packs a day. Lung cancer is fatal in 95 per cent of all cases.

But in spite of glaring evidence and frequent warnings, the public is smoking more and more. The Department of Agriculture estimates that this year's consumption of cigarettes will reach 180 packs per person fifteen years of age and over. How many cigarettes does this mean per person?─3600.

Why is smoking such an important problem? Because smoking is not a mere habit, as so many think it is. No, it is more serious than that. A habit can be broken easily enough, but an addiction cannot. Smokers lapse into helplessness! Daniel Schubert, of the University of Chicago, quizzed 226 students at a large Northwestern college about their smoking habits─why they started, what satisfaction they got, and if they wanted to stop. According to Schubert, they wanted to quit smoking; but they couldn't.

If one is addicted to cigarettes, he is dependent upon them physically, as well as psychologically. What is it, if it is not addiction, that motivates a man to go out in sub-zero weather to buy a pack of cigarettes? If necessary, he will drive ten miles late at night to find an open drugstore. What is it, if it is not addiction, that makes a moocher of an otherwise charming young girl?

I was talking to a professor not long ago who had just quit smoking. He told me what most of you already know─that once the habit is started, watch out! It is next to impossible to stop smoking. I asked him how he ever managed to quit when he had been smoking over a pack a day for ten years. Listen to his story.

"Well, I cut down to one-half pack a day for the first week.

I was touchy most of the time. The slightest irritation made my nerves jangle and my head want to explode. The next week I smoked five cigarettes a day and had an even worse case of nerves. Then the following week I chewed gum and sucked on mints, candy, and pipe stems. Frankly, I wasn't sure from one moment to the next if I could keep going. Somehow I made it."

Many of you know what this professor is talking about; you, too, have tried to break the addiction, but have failed. In the few minutes we have here today we can analyze the motives at the root of our smoking problem.

perhaps we can assure those who do not smoke, (and I am happy I can still include myself in this group), to nip in the bud the urges of those who are about to begin smoking, and to encourage to cut-down those who are already confirmed smokers.

Let's begin with group pressures. We race to maturity, to grow up all at once. We want poise, selfconfidence, and lots of friends; we want to be accepted.

This need for acceptance reminds me of an incident that occurred in a campus sorority house during the "rushing period" last fall. A sorority member offered a rushee a cigarette. Eager to please and not to seem different, the girl blurted out a confident, "Oh, yes, I'd love one!" The active struck a match, was calmly extending it toward the rushee when the flustered freshman met the active half-way with cigarette in hand. The active was thunderstruck. You can imagine her mixed emotions while striving to stifle her amusement and at the same time to understand that the poor rushee had never smoked before. In the excitement of the moment she was only concerned with being accepted.

Then there is the girl who is seated in a group, not knowing what to do with her hands. First, she rolls and unrolls the curl behind her left ear; then she rummages in her purse for some article to wave as a prop. An inspiration flashes, and she remembers the package of Kents in her coat pocket. Why didn't she think of them before? She always did think women who smoked looked mature. What a convenient prop to have brought along. Convenient? Yes, sophisticated? No. Years ago, a woman was thought sophisticated if she knew how to smoke. Men were impressed. But today the picture is changing, as everyone knows how to smoke─age eleven or up. perhaps now the novelty should be the nonsmoker?

Now I ask you. Is a woman charming if she can sit with her hands folded gracefully in her lap, or is she more charming while fidgeting with one cigarette after another? And you men specifically─which do you prefer─the lady who needs no props to have poise, or the lady who thinks a cigarette makes her more alluring to you? Take a good look at a woman sometime when she is inhaling. She drags hard, makes a puckering noise with her lips, tosses her head back drawing a deep breath─then bellows the smoke out like the gust from a rocket launching. She may even go so far as to blow smoke rings for you. Is she dainty? Is she feminine?

The power of suggestion is another strong motivating factor in our lives. Haven't you watched someone yawn and suddenly felt your own mouth gape open. You let the power of suggestion get the best of you; and before you realized it, you, too, were yawning. Now, couldn't this same power induce you to smoke? Why not, especially through the medium of advertising.

I am reminded of a "Mostly Malarky" cartoon that I recently clipped out of the Chicago Tribune. Malarky strolled into a drugstore. Standing before the counter, he scratched his head in silence. Finally, he muttered to the clerk, "I want the thinking man's cigarette, but I can't seem to think of the name." poor Malarky. He only wanted a package of Viceroy as the "thinking man's cigarette." After all, if he is a thinking man, as he thinks he is, he should, by all means, smoke his own brand.

Advertisers are further toying with men's egos by appealing to their hidden desires to be energetic, vigorous, and potent. Marlboro, with its hairy-chested male smoker, has set the pace. The cigarette is made to project the image of a rugged, rough-and-ready guy. Doesn't this explain why many cigarette ads display great flexing of masculine muscles?

The woman, too, is a victim of advertising. Vogue cigarettes catch her eye. Why? Because they come in pastels. How perfectly exciting for the female world! Just think! She can now buy cigarettes to match her wardrobe; and what's more, she can purchase matching cigarette cases and lighters in any color of the rainbow, with jewels or without.

Yes, we are frequently victims of suggestive devices. Dr. Ernest Dichtter, head of the Institute for Motivational Research, has conducted a series of studies for ad agencies on the subject of smoking. He states, "people smoke, not because of the taste of cigarettes, but because smoking provides them with certain psychological satisfactions they can get in no other way." He adds that cigarettes are involved in a man's struggle for survival, stability, and security. I am afraid I cannot agree with Dr. Dichter, for I believe that a man can survive and can find security without cigarettes. He needs food, he needs shelter, he needs love and companionship; but can't he satisfy these needs in ways other than smoking?

Rationalization makes a strong impact on our lives. Are we cultivating rationalizations as an excuse to smoke? I am afraid we are. No doubt 50 per cent of us here have used as an excuse to continue smoking, this very common remark, "If I ever stopped smoking, I would gain ten pounds." perhaps! A cigarette at 4p.m. does not contain the calories that a milkshake does. But the healthy way to lose excess pounds is to eat the right kind and the right amount of food.

We again rationalize when we buy filter tip cigarettes. We assure ourselves that the filter reduces any danger, but according to the July, 1957 edition of Reader's Digest, "The tar and nicotine reduction possible through a filter ranges from 7 to 17 per cent. These percentages are too small to be really protective." With a perfect filter no smoke could seep through─just hot air. So many people believe that filters are the solution that filter tips will account for about half of this year's output. Can't we admit that we are being duped to form a habit that is detrimental to mankind─a habit that leads to addiction?

So you begin to wonder if maybe you should quit smoking─that, after all, you are an individual. What would happen to you tomorrow if some conclusive proof should suddenly come forth─proof that cigarettes are a one-way ticket to death? What would you do? Who do not smoke, you've seen why others start the habit and the risks they are taking. Be on your guard. You, who have the urge to start smoking─you are perched on a fence and can jump to either side. Which will you choose? And you, who are already confirmed smokers, are now confronted with the hardest question of all. If you wanted to stop smoking, "Could you? Could you break the addiction?"

Jean Nicot, the Frenchman who gave his name to nicotine, believed that he had discovered a miracle drug. Today we try to filter out nicotine because of its harmful nature. The modern Jean Nicots believe that smoking makes the woman more attractive, more desirable─the man more masculine, more independent.

We say we are thinking men! Well, are we thinking? Cigarette, anyone?